Plans are in for revamp of Sidmouth’s SES
- Credit: Archant
Civic leaders and nearby businesses have celebrated the proposed regeneration of SES as a new future for the vacant shop.
The High Street store has fallen into a state of disrepair and been a source of friction in the conservation area for years.
It has been targeted by vandals three times in recent months - with graffiti messages criticising the appearance of the premises.
Town council chairman John Hollick said this week: “There is not going to be a quick fix to these premises and I would ask residents to show patience, particularly those who have recently decided to make the situation worse by adding graffiti, compounding the sad look of this building.
“I am sure we all hope that this will see a turnaround in the building’s fortunes.”
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David Woodhouse, who works in the Crusty Cob bakery opposite, said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s an eyesore and a blot on the landscape – I’m glad it will be somewhere we can be proud of.”
He added that dozens of locals and tourists alike comment on the state of the property every week and he felt it reflects badly on the town.
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Winstone’s manager, Carl East, said: “It’s what everyone’s been waiting for, for a long time.”
Sean Legg, who manages the adjacent Johnsons, said: “We get a lot of people commenting on it. Everyone in Sidmouth will be glad to see it sorted.”
Potburys managing director, Michael Lee, added: “I’m looking forward to seeing it regenerated – it will be good for the town to have a smarter outlet there.”
Previously the National Provincial Bank shop, the building opened as SES stationers in 1977 when its previous owners moved their popular business from Old Fore Street.
It operated until 2004.
The shop has remained vacant, with town and district councils unable to enforce remedial work except for public safety.
Its sale was made public this week.